Olympic bronze caps 11-year synchronized diving run for Benfeito, Filion
Broken ankle almost ended Rio hopes in December
By Nick Murray, CBC Sports
What would you do for a teammate?
For now two-time Olympic bronze medallists Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion, it meant one driving the other to physiotherapy appointments to rehab a broken ankle, months before the Olympics.
- Canadian divers Benfeito, Filion win bronze in Rio syncro
- WATCH: Filion and Benfeito spread the love after their bronze medal win
- WATCH: Filion and Benfeito on the long road to Rio
- SCHEDULE: Diving at Rio 2016
"I wouldn't have done it for anyone else. It's the reason we've been together for 11 years," Benfeito told CBC's Scott Russell fresh off Tuesday's bronze medal-winning performance in Rio, their last competition together.
"The relationship we have really means everything to me. I'm sure she would have done it for me. It's very important to have my synchro partner there with me because without her, I wouldn't be who I am today."
Longest wait ever
Benfeito and Filion came from behind in their swan song at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on Tuesday, winning Canada's fifth medal of the Rio Games and defending their bronze medal from London 2012.
The duo from Laval, Que., was in fifth going into the final round of the competition. But crucial mistakes by the North Koreans opened the door for the Canadians to slide into a podium spot.
Benfeito and Filion capitalized, nailing a back 2½ somersault with 1½ twists, scoring an 80.64, which couldn't be topped by the British who also faltered on their final dive.
MEDAL ALERT | Meaghan Benfeito, Roseline Filion win <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bronze?src=hash">#Bronze</a> in women's synchronized 10m diving <a href="https://t.co/sUAuRE5gY0">https://t.co/sUAuRE5gY0</a>—@CBCOlympics
"We got to the top of the tower and we looked at each other and said, 'OK, let's go. This is where it happens,' " Benfeito, who didn't look at the scoreboard before their final dive, said.
"It was like the longest 2 1/2 minutes of our lives [waiting for the last group to finish]."
'That's what teammates do'
There was a time when the pair didn't think they'd make it to Rio to finish out their career together.
Filion broke her ankle at a training session last December. She was practicing on mats, missed her mark, and her right foot landed directly on concrete.
Rough week-end, had to pull out of competition due to a bad foot injury during training! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/athleteslife?src=hash">#athleteslife</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/recoverytime?src=hash">#recoverytime</a> <a href="https://t.co/cEcJmmrVs2">pic.twitter.com/cEcJmmrVs2</a>—@Roselinefilion
"It was difficult for me because it was first big injury, ever. I've never been injured out of the pool for longer than one day, maybe two days," Filion told Russell, recapping her road to recovery for Rio 2016.
"For me, I stopped worrying the day the entire team came along and found a solution and prepared a plan for me for my recovery. Meaghan put me first before her."
"That's what teammates do," interrupted Benfeito.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CAN?src=hash">#CAN</a> Roseline Filion & Meaghan Benfeito are awarded their <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bronze?src=hash">#bronze</a> medal at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/JAoL0ve2RK">https://t.co/JAoL0ve2RK</a> <a href="https://t.co/BU1SkjOSxn">https://t.co/BU1SkjOSxn</a>—@CBCOlympics
With today's comeback, the pair caps a decorated synchronized diving career together in which, along with Olympic hardware, they tallied gold and silver medals at the Pan Am Games, two silvers and a bronze at the FINA world championships, and two bronze and a silver at the FINA World Cup.
The teammates will now go solo to finish out Rio 2016, each competing individually in the 10-metre platform beginning Aug. 17.